The Normalization of Stigmatized Political Symbols
Zoom and in-person seminar // Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 916 6368 6066 Passcode: 322203
We document a large increase in displays of national flags in Spain following the referendum on Catalan independence. We argue that this behavioral change is better explained by a change in norms than a change in people’s preferences. The Spanish flag was associated with Spain’s authoritarian past, and hence stigmatized. The process of Catalan independence gave individuals with nationalist views an incentive to publicly display them, initiating a process of norm change. Using a longitudinal dataset of flags on the façade of buildings and an original survey, we implement numerous tests supporting our argument. Instead, we find no evidence that the increase in flags is explained by an increase in nationalist sentiment among Spanish individuals. Moreover, symbol destigmatization came together with the destigmatization of the underlying source of stigma: flags ameliorated public assessments of Franco, without affecting private ones. Our findings highlight the role of social norms in affecting political behavior.
Date: 19 October 2021, 12:30 (Tuesday, 2nd week, Michaelmas 2021)
Venue: Nuffield College, New Road OX1 1NF
Venue Details: Clay Room (in-person event)
Speaker: Vicente Valentim (Nuffield College)
Organising department: Nuffield College
Organisers: Ezequiel González Ocantos (Nuffield College), Pepper Culpepper (Nuffield College), Professor Jane Green (Nuffield College)
Organiser contact email address:
Part of: Nuffield College Political Science Seminars
Booking required?: Not required
Audience: Members of the University only
Editor: Maxine Collett